Adam Petty to make NASCAR debut in 2000

MIAMI (Nov. 11, 1999) Adam Petty's plans for 2000 are set with Sprint as the sponsor of his No. 45 Chevrolet. Fourth generation stock car racer Adam Petty will return full-time to the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division in 2000, but...

MIAMI (Nov. 11, 1999) Adam Petty's plans for 2000 are set with Sprint as the sponsor of his No. 45 Chevrolet. Fourth generation stock car racer Adam Petty will return full-time to the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division in 2000, but the 19-year-old driver will also make his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut in a Chevrolet sponsored by Sprint.

Petty, whose great grandfather Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959, made the announcement Thursday night at Miami's colorful South Beach along with his father, NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kyle Petty and his grandfather, team owner and seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion "King" Richard Petty.

Adam Petty unveiled a newly designed No. 45 Sprint Chevrolet outfitted in the company's trademark red and gray colors with its diamond logo. The new three-year sponsorship positions Sprint as young Petty's primary sponsor, but also continues the company's existing associate sponsorships with the NASCAR Winston Cup teams of Petty Enterprises and drivers Kyle Petty and John Andretti.

Adam Petty's first scheduled jump to NASCAR Winston Cup Series action is April 2 at Texas with the possibility of the young driver competing against his father for the first time.

"Sprint has taken me from ASA to Busch and now we're going to Winston Cup," Adam Petty said. "I'm excited about returning to the Busch Series with the team we have and I can't wait to race against my dad for the first time in Winston Cup. That will be a very special day."

"Any father would be proud to have his son be so successful at anything," Kyle Petty said. "It just so happens I get to experience that excitement first hand. I look at it this way, I get to do something most fathers don't get a chance to, and that's help my son succeed on the job."

Adam Petty's job continues after his debut at Texas. He will attempt to qualify in May for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway; the Goody's Headache Powder 500 under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway in August; the NAPA AutoCare 500 at Martinsville Speedway; and the Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

"It's going to be difficult," Adam Petty said. "I know from watching my dad and granddad that the Winston Cup Series is the toughest competition there is, but we're ready to take the next step."

Sprint's decision to expand its sponsorship with the Pettys shows the company's increased commitment to America's fastest-growing and most brand-loyal sport. The newly announced deal also dignifies an effort by Sprint to involve all of its business units and to utilize NASCAR's popularity as a platform to advance the Sprint brand and showcase the company's wide range of products and services.

Sprint's relationship with the Pettys began in 1996 when the company's Prepaid PhoneCard group served as an associate sponsor on Kyle Petty's No. 42 Coors Light Pontiac. In 1998 Sprint expanded its associate sponsorship to include the No. 43 STP Pontiac driven by Andretti and owned by Richard Petty.

"Our relationship with the Pettys has been outstanding -- one of which we wanted to expand and continue for Sprint," said Brian Dunmore, manager-corporate sponsorship for Sprint. "We look forward to expanding the marketing and promotional success achieved by our Prepaid PhoneCard group across all of Sprint's business units.

"Having a prominent presence in the growing sport is right on track with our business strategy, and our association with the Petty family gives us a direct link to customers and exciting opportunities to build our business and our brand."

"We've had a great relationship," Kyle Petty said of the organization's time with Sprint. "Sprint was an associate sponsor for a couple of seasons and in 1998 they began a relationship with Adam as his primary. Now they're on all of Petty Enterprises cars. It's a great sponsorship success story."


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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Adam Petty , Kyle Petty , Richard Petty , Lee Petty